Marie Lu Reveals More About New Series THE YOUNG ELITES, Including the Main Protagonist

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Some hate us, think us outlaws to hang at the gallows. Some fear us, think us demons to burn at the stake. Some worship us, think us divine children of the gods. But all know us.”

We only just posted yesterday that Marie Lu closed a deal for a new series titled The Young Elites, and now Marie has stated how this high fantasy story will go:

Think X-Men meets Assassin’s Creed 2 meets Game of Thrones. Those elements are all in there somewhere, mashed together into literary guacamole with a big keyboard-shaped spoon. (That was a terrible analogy. I apologize. Sort of.)

She then talks about how it came about, including finding the right character to be the main protagonist, which surprisingly can be difficult to find at times:

About a year ago, I decided I wanted to write a fantasy series. I grew up reading almost exclusively fantasy and science fiction, and the very first (thankfully unpublished) manuscript I ever finished in high school was a fantasy. So I always knew I would head in this direction. I came up with the initial idea for The Young Elites in early 2012 and excitedly wrote a few chapters. I tossed it. I tried again. I tossed it again. I did this several more time over the span of the next year or so, until I’d probably written enough words to have filled an entire book. Still, I couldn’t “find it.” I had characters, I had a premise, and I had a world … but I didn’t have a story. Not until a few months ago did I finally figure out my problem.

I had the wrong protagonist.

Picking the right protagonist for your story is one of the most important decisions you can make as a writer—and it was a decision I never had trouble with for Legend. Day and June were my protagonists the instant the story sparked in my mind. They came fully formed, their personalities and attitudes complete and their character arcs ready to go. I took off running with them.

With TYE, I didn’t have this same ease. I started out telling the story from the point of view of a boy we’ll call Faketagonist. Faketagonist had a cast of (hopefully) interesting secondary characters swirling around him … but he himself was bland and uninspired. Too normal. Too ‘nice’. Things happened to him and around him—but he never took action. Faketagonist waited around too much and relied on too many people. He was not protagonist material.

Then, I heard her. Off to Faketagonist’s side was a secondary character, a girl with snow white hair and a missing eye, a dark past and an even darker character arc. I hesitated to give her the lead role, to be honest. Adelina Amouteru is a bit like a teenage female version of Magneto and Darth Vader. She is not a nice girl. She has twisted opinions about the world and the people around her. Day (from Legend) was a boy who walked in the light, but Adelina is a girl who walks in darkness.

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Marie also voices her concern about Adelina, considering she’s not quite the “good” girl main protagonists often are:

And I worry, because even though Adelina and I are very different in many ways, I see pieces of myself in her that I’m not proud of. We all have our dark side, don’t we? (Okay fine, maybe you don’t, but please nod along and humor me. Plus, we need to get together and work on nurturing your inner mwahaha.)

So, what other types of characters and what elements will we be reading about?

There are also superheroes, supervillains, royalty, bad boys with hearts of gold, bad boys with hearts of dead puppies, good boys who drink their tea with a spoonful of cunning, good girls who make mistakes, badass girls, badass boys, boys and girls who do stupid things, smart things, and everything in between. Oh, and magic. Naturally.

This is, of course, all what I’m picturing in my head. I’m not done with the story yet. And I’m working VERY hard to make sure that this book doesn’t make CSI’s Horatio Caine go, “Well, it looks like the Young Elites are nothing more than … *sunglasses* the Young Disappointments. EEEEEYYEEEEAAAH!”

That’s about all I have to say for now. I hope you guys will like it. I can’t wait for you all to read it in Fall 2014! Until then, I’ll be writing furiously and hyperventilating into a paper bag.

I don’t believe we’ll have to worry about Faketagonist.  We might find him to be the best secondary character we’ll ever love:

P.S. After Faketagonist was removed from his leading role post, he managed to pull himself together and turn into a surprisingly fun secondary character. He has congratulated Adelina and now lives on set in his secondary character trailer.

I, for one, am interested in how this plays out.  I usually am all about the squeaky clean types, like Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games, or Day in Legend, or Jem Carstairs in The Infernal Devices.  However, that type of model is not for everyone as many are steering towards the darker type of characters – such as those skeptical ones like Four in Divergent and Jace Wayland in The Mortal Instruments, to super questionable ones like Warner in Shatter Me to actual bad guy types like The Darkling in Shadow and Bone.

Need more visuals?  Check out Marie’s TYE Pinterest Board!

via Marie Lu’s Blog.

Random Fandom Book News: 13 YA Novels To Read In 2013

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Considering that I’m still reading books that were released a few years ago, I’m not quite sure how much of this list I’ll be able to get to this year – although I did read the ARC of Prodigy (you can read my review here).

“Just One Day” by Gayle Forman (January 8)

“Just One Day” is all it takes for American good-girl Allyson to fall for Dutch actor Willem during a trip abroad. But when she awakes the next morning and finds him gone, Allyson embarks on a year of self-discovery to move past the lost love. “Just One Day” is the first of a duet of novels—with the second, “Just One Year,” set to publish later in 2013.

“Prodigy” by Marie Lu (January 29)

Marie Lu’s debut novel, “Legend,” a sort of teen take on the classic “Les Miserables” story, left us on tenterhooks for a follow-up…which we’ve patiently waited more than a year to read. And here it finally is in “Prodigy,” which follows one-time nemeses June and Day as they arrive in Las Vegas and join a group of Patriot rebels, who promise to help rescue Day’s brother…if only the duo assassinate the new Elector.

“Unravel Me” by Tahereh Mafi (February 5)

Juliette escaped The Reestablishment in “Shatter Me,” finding a home with equally gifted people at Omega Point. But with a touch that’s lethal, she’ll never truly be free. Especially to love Adam. This sequel finds our heroine struggling with a decision that could mean her soul mate’s life.

“The Indigo Spell” by Richelle Mead (February 12)

Remember how uptight Alchemist Sydney Sage and devilishly handsome Moroi Adrian Ivashkov finally shared the steamiest of smooches in “The Golden Lily”? Well, expect the sexual tension to reach a boiling point in this third installment of Richelle Mead’s “Bloodlines” series. Ensure your smelling salts and fainting couches are at the ready.

“Mind Games” by Kiersten White (February 19)

Two sisters, two extraordinary abilities. Fia has flawless instincts—every decision she makes is the correct one. Annie, though blind, has vivid visions of the future. Both attend a school for gifted pupils, where their talents are leveraged for nefarious gain. The sisters must work together to free themselves…but at what cost?

“Clockwork Princess” by Cassandra Clare (March 19)

Will Tessa choose kind-heart fiance Jem Carstairs or sarcastic bad-boy Will Herondale? One of our favorite (and most tortured) love triangles will (hopefully!) be resolved in the long-awaited conclusion to Cassandra Clare’s Victorian-set “Infernal Devices” series.

“17 & Gone” by Nova Ren Suma (March 21)

Lauren is having terrifying visions—visions of girls who have vanished without a trace. They’re all 17 years old, as is Lauren, which raises the troubling possibility that she could be next.

“The Elite” by Kiera Cass (April 23)

In Kiera Cass’ 2011 debut, “The Selection,” we met dystopian teen America Singer, one of 35 girls vying for the heart of Prince Maxon (and the position of Princess of Illea). And just as it seemed the two were falling head over heels for one another, America’s hometown heartthrob, Aspen, appearing at the palace, sending her heart into a major tumult. This is one royal love triangle, to be sure.

“Icons” by Margaret Stohl (May 7)

One half of the writing duo behind the Southern gothic series “Beautiful Creatures,” Margaret Stohl is going solo this spring with “Icons,” which follows teen Dol in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event that wiped out her entire family. She soon learns her uncontrollable emotions—long thought to be her greatest weakness—could, in fact, be the key to saving mankind’s future.

“Invisibility” by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan (May 7)

What’s better than a new novel from one of our favorite authors? How about a new novel from two of our favorite authors? Andrea Cremer and David Levithan have teamed up for “Invisibility,” the story of a cursed boy who no one—except new love Elizabeth—can see.

“Isla and the Happily Ever After” by Stephanie Perkins (May 7)

After falling in love with “Anna and the French Kiss” and swooning over “Lola and the Boy Next Door,” our bodies are ready for Stephanie Perkins’ third companion novel, “Isla and the Happily Ever After,” set once again at, arguably, the most romantic high school in France: the School of America in Paris. Now, where do we sign up for our own semester abroad?

“The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” by Holly Black (September 1)

With acclaimed “Curse Workers” series coming to an end, Holly Black is biting into a new genre: vampires! Inspired by the short story Holly penned for “The Eternal Kiss” anthology, “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” is set in a not-so-distant future in which the bloodsucker population has surged, necessitating quarantine zones known as Coldtowns, where humans and vamps co-exist in a perpetual orgy of bloodlust—all streamed live via the internet. “Twilight,” this is not.

“Unbreakable” by Kami Garcia (Fall 2013)

Margaret’s “Beautiful Creatures” writing partner Kami Garcia also has a novel of her own coming out this year: “Unbreakable.” The story centers around teen Kennedy Waters, who following her mother’s death, discovers that she is a member of a centuries-old secret society tasked with protecting the world from demonic forces. We don’t recommend waiting too long to read this one—the film rights have already been scooped up.

There is one that I would also like to include in this list, and that’s the third and final book of the Delirium trilogy, Requiem, by Lauren Oliver.  This book features by #2 of my Top 5 Fictional Males, Alex Sheathes, and if you like dystopian and romance, you must read this!  Requiem is scheduled for release on March 5, 2013.

Requiem

Of course, my #1 of my Top 5 Fictional Males would be in book listed above, and that book is Clockwork Princess, featuring the lovely Jem Carstairs, thank you very much.

Will you be reading any from this list?  Which ones?

via MTV Hollywood Crush.